Allison Joseph

Issue #
September 27, 2015

To Know a Poet

is to know a lunatic,
raver in regular clothing,
class clown too broken

for makeup, bruiser
with flailing fists,
trying to make contact

with skin you never touch.
How strange we must seem–
full of stuttering songs

and shy revelations,
muttering about syllables
and shade, tipsy

with rhythms that pulse
behind every third eye.
How frustrating it is

to speak with us–
constant leaks of languid
metaphor, bundles of similes

tangled as telephone wire.
I could tell you
to befriend us,

feed us through
our multiple hungers,
clothe us during slippery

phases of nightblind
madness. But I warn you,
what we have is

a mutant strain
always evolving,

seeping in
through your eyes
to occupy your brain,

make your nights shivery
with unendurable ache,
that ever-decreasing faith.

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